Google brings Microsoft Office to Docs

Users can access and edit Microsoft Office documents at the same time through Google’s enterprise cloud offering, Cloud Connect.

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Google has brought the ability to edit and share Microsoft Office documents to its own Google Docs.

Dubbed Cloud Connect, the move is seen by some as a direct attack on Microsoft's own SharePoint software. The offering enables users to work on Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents in Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 at the same time in two different locations.

However, unlike Share Point, this add-on for Google Docs is free.

"Millions of businesses are experiencing radical productivity gains with web-powered tools, and today Google Apps collaboration is ready for every employee," Shan Sinha, Google Apps product manager, wrote on the Official Google Enterprise blog.

"You can edit a Word document's table of contents from Dublin while co-workers adjust formatting and make revisions from Denver. Instead of bombarding each other with attachments and hassling to reconcile people's edits, your whole team can focus on productive work together."

However, the system only works on Windows PCs and Google has admitted it is unable to create the same add-on for Mac users.

"Unfortunately due to the lack of support for open APIs on Microsoft Office for Mac, we are unable to make Google Cloud Connect available on Macs at this time," Sinha added.

"We look forward to when that time comes so we can provide this feature to our Mac customers as well."

Google also announced it is to offer a 90-day "Appsperience" to enable businesses to test out whether its Apps model would fit into their corporate environment.

"Appsperience [lets] businesses encumbered with 1990s technology experience modern collaboration and the burst of productivity that's possible now," Sinha said.

"Whether you manage IT for your whole business, lead a department, or manage a complex project like an industry event, a nominal fee covers 90-day unlimited use of Google Apps collaboration plus hands-on support from Google experts."

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